Going Back to School


I can't believe it's time to start thinking about Back to School!  I'm thrilled to be part of a group of Secondary ELA Teachers in The Literary League and can't wait for you to meet all of us in this Back to School BLOG HOP.


I hope you've had a restful and relaxing summer and were able to recharge your "teacher batteries" for the upcoming school year.  There's something I love about a new school year and I think it's the promise of possibility that lies before us!  A fresh start, a clean slate... I love it.



Here's a little bit more about me!

Speaking of meeting new people... meeting your new students at the start of the year can be daunting!  I hope I'm not the only one who has crazy back to school nightmares where I can't remember anyone's name.  One of my little tricks to help remember my students' names is to ask them to create name tags for their desk.  

I know... you're probably thinking it's really elementary to do something like this.  BUT... I think my kids like making them for a few reasons. First... it's not what they expect.  They are expecting to hear me rattle off the course outline and my expectations for the year.  Secondly, they love the chance to be a little creative.  I give them card stock, provide coloring pencils, magazines, scissors and glue.  I ask them to make their name tags representative of who they are.  Thirdly, it helps them learn each others' names as they don't always know everyone in the class.  It avoids having to awkwardly ask someone their name.  

I store the name tags in envelopes labeled with the block / class.  When a new class begins I can pull out the envelope, leave the name tags out on a desk and have students pick them up on their way in.  They also drop them off with me on their way out so that I can keep them for the next class.  

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Student-Survey-FREE-282826 
Grab this FREE Back to School Survey from my TpT shop to get to know your new students even more! 


Also be sure to follow the blog hop below! 
I am so lucky to be part of such an awesome and amazing group of ELA teachers!

~Addie


10

Writing Folders in My Secondary Classroom

I decided to try something new in my ELA classes last year and I was so thrilled with how it worked out that I'm going to do it again this year!  After years of trying to organize students with binders that explode with paper and lost assignments I knew I had to try something different.  

So... I gave each student in my 9th grade ELA classes a legal (long) sized manila folder for the year.  As part of the "getting to know you" activities I do with students at the start of the year I asked them to design a personal logo and personal motto.  They cut out and glued their logo and motto to the front of their folders - this made their folders easy to spot and gave them some ownership over their folders very early on. The logo activity is available as part of my Back To School Pack for Teens & Tweens.

I stored and kept their folders in my classroom - I didn't let them take them home or shove them in their backpacks.  This served two purposes: 1) The folders didn't get lost / destroyed 2) Students who were working in a support / resource room knew that they could come down to my room, grab their folder, work on things for a period and the resource teachers would ensure the folders were returned.  And... at the end of the year... not. a. single. folder had been lost!! #success

The folders were also fantastic resources at Parent-Teacher Night!  Students were excited to show their parents what they had been working on in class, parents were thrilled to see samples of their child's work and it gave us all an easy starting point for the discussion.

So... what did I put in the folders you ask?? Students kept a variety of reference tools in their folders throughout the year.  As we worked on different units they also kept their daily work in the folders.  At the end of the unit, we took out their notes / assignments and they transfered them to their binders.  By that point, I'd had a chance to easily assess their work and if got lost in their binders, it didn't really matter.   

Here are some things we kept in their folders ALL YEAR.  Some of things we glued in and others just sat in the folders.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-English-Students-Guidebook-to-Writing-Research-Analysis-1259913

The English Student's Guide Book to Writing, Research and Analysis from Room 213 was INVALUABLE and my students refered to it throughout the year.  The tips, examples and instructions for things like using quotations, in-text citations and paragraphing were so helpful.  Most of my students had a goal to keep this over the summer and try to remember to use it next year in 10th grade.

I had my students cut out and glue in their folders, a wonderful reference sheet for using Evidence Based Terminology which is FREE from Darlene Anne..  Another INVALUABLE resource - I saw my students refer to this list often when writing and responding to text.  I really noticed an improvement in their writing!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Short-Story-Terms-Personal-Student-Dictionary-1597250
I also included a few other things throughout the year.  My students used and kept their Short Story Terms Dictionary throughout the year to reference literary terms.

They also used my FREE Figurative Language Reference Sheet throughout the year.

I can't wait to get started on them again this year.  I loved how organized the students were, how infrequently something was lost, the ownership my students took over them, and the fact that the kids actually used the resources I had provided them. 



Hope you have a great year!





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